But this needs more than a culture of compassion at the point of support, it also needs a complete change of culture at the points of system design, management and leadership. Far too often we see a system that fails people with learning disabilities and their families and marginalises or excludes them from partnership or real involvement.
This needs a change of perspective, one that puts the person at the heart of the service. They and their families are not mere consumers of a service – or ‘service users’ - but are the true customers of the service. Their needs are greater than the needs of the staff supporting them, greater than the needs of the shareholders and greater than the needs of a system where institutions themselves become institutionalised, leading to poor practice and the risk of developing toxic cultures.
Much of the responsibility for getting this right for people who challenge lies with Government, which must take the lead and see it through. It won’t work if we don’t get cultural change in the system itself right as well. The way forward depends on working in many partnerships, but particularly with individuals and their families, to develop quality services in local communities. We must stop sending people away from their families, friends and communities.
The scale of the challenge should not be underestimated. Everyone must commit to making this work.
The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) commits to identifying and promoting good practice - that is deeply rooted in human rights - throughout the sector, by:
Providing and disseminating high quality information and learning and development for the sector that will promote good practice and use our consultancy expertise to challenge poor practice.
Promoting positive behaviour support as a fundamental approach when supporting individuals with learning disabilities or autism and behaviour that is described as challenging.
Reviewing and improving BILD’s voluntary Physical Intervention Accreditation Scheme and its underpinning Code of Practice – that continues to promote positive behaviour support as central to the delivery of training – with key stakeholders and reporting on progress.
Promoting and supporting advocacy services and self-advocacy.
BILD will continue to recognise and tell others about the unique contribution that people with learning disabilities can and do make, and is committed to help make the changes that are needed for transformation.
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For more information contact BILD's Communications Manager, Peter Salisbury on 01562 723040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read more about the background to Winterbourne View and the responses since on our Winterbourne View responses page >
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